Experimental manipulation of emotion regulation self-efficacy: Effects on emotion regulation ability, perceived effort in the service of regulation, and affective reactivity

Natasha Benfer, Joseph R. Bardeen, & Kate Clauss

Deficits in emotion regulation self-efficacy (Tamir & Mauss, 2011) may be a risk factor for psychological distress. The present study sought to test the hypothesis that participants who were led to believe that emotion regulation self-efficacy was enhanced (expected success condition: n = 34), versus those in a control condition (n = 36), would report relatively less negative affective reactivity in response to a negative mood induction. Additionally, we hypothesized that those in the expected success condition would perform better than those in the control condition on an emotion regulation task. As predicted, those in the expected success condition reported less negative affective reactivity compared to control participants, but no difference was observed between groups on the emotion regulation task. Thus, a one-session manipulation of emotion regulation self-efficacy appears to directly influence self-reported affective reactivity, but not an individual's emotion regulation ability.

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